Advocacy in Action
Statistics show that one in five Americans have a disability. Individuals with disabilities are the country’s number one minority group but also the country’s most under-served and under-represented population. State and federal legislators are responsible for creating policies that impact every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, by not having adequate representation when decisions are made, individuals with Down syndrome are not often considered.
It is up to advocates in the Down syndrome community to help our elected officials be better prepared to represent our interests when crafting legislation.
Advocacy is as simple as telling your story, defining a problem, and presenting a solution. NC Down Syndrome Alliance, state, and national disability advocacy groups can keep you up to date on pressing issues (problems) and legislation (solutions).
Contact your elected official: send an email or letter, make a phone call, or visit their office.
Contact NCDSA Advocacy and Outreach Director, Donna Beckmann, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Remain non-partisan and respectful
- Be brief – 3 minutes or less or one page in length
- Remain on topic – make one point
- Be prepared – know your topic
- Rehearse your personal story if calling or visiting
- Do not use disability specific language, jargon, or acronyms
- Thank them for their time
One goal of advocacy is to educate elected officials about Down syndrome and how policy impacts individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
National: The Arc
North Carolina: NC Council on Developmental Disabilities
Join advocates from across the state at North Carolina Down Syndrome Advocacy Day at the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh. NC Down Syndrome Advocacy Day is scheduled when the General Assembly is in session. The date varies from year to year.